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Supporting empathy through embodiment in the design of interactive systems

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  • Jonny Huck
  • Paul Coulton
  • David Gullick
  • Phillip Powell
  • Jennifer Roberts
  • Andrew Hudson-Smith
  • Martin De-Jode
  • Panagiotis Mavros
Publication date01/2015
Host publicationTEI '14 Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781450333054
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Whilst empathy is considered an essential component of what it means to be human, it is arguably absent as a design objective when creating modern communication systems. This paper presents an approach to designing for, as opposed to with, empathy using the example of two design interventions to create embodied rituals reflecting prayers and worries of individuals within a church community. The aim of these interventions is to facilitate conversation and support within the community, thus generating empathy between community members, and inciting prosocial behaviour through embodied cognition.